The Gog­gle­box pair should stick to what they do best: hav­ing a good time

The Guardian - G2 - - Television - By Sam Wol­las­ton

Steph and Dom, who be­came TV stars by watch­ing TV on TV, have got their own TV show. Ac­tu­ally, the posh ones off Gog­gle­box have gone it alone be­fore, get­ting soz­zled at home with a se­lec­tion of du­bi­ous celebri­ties in­clud­ing Nigel Farage and Louis Walsh. This one – Steph and Dom’s One Star to Five Stars (Chan­nel 4) – taps into their tal­ent for run­ning a bed and break­fast. They spend a few days in strug­gling ho­tels and guest houses up and down the coun­try, then sug­gest ways they could be im­proved.

So not un­like The Ho­tel In­spec­tor on Chan­nel 5 then? Not un­like is one way of putting it, bla­tant rip-off an­other. But this is more am­a­teur, more bumbly, more Steph and Dom. And, ig­nor­ing their pol­i­tics, I think

I’d rather spend half an hour in the com­pany of Steph and Dom than an hour with ei­ther Alex Polizzi or Alex’s THI pre­de­ces­sor Ruth Wat­son (who went on to do other shows on Chan­nel 4 that also weren’t un­like The Ho­tel In­spec­tor).

Right, so S’N’D are in Bridling­ton, York­shire, for the first time, I imag­ine. Specif­i­cally, they’re at the Rans­dale ho­tel, which is in need of fresh im­pe­tus and ideas. And kedgeree, for break­fast, thinks Steph, as an al­ter­na­tive to a full English. Own­ers Tim and Lisa aren’t con­vinced about kedgeree, but they’ll go with it.

In town, Steph gets smoked had­dock for the kedgeree. And tries a cockle, def­i­nitely for the first time. “That was lovely, thank you very much,” she says, hav­ing just, not very sub­tly, spat it out. “Re­volt­ing, ut­ter filth,” she later tells Dom, about the cock­les I hope, not the lo­cals. Funny how oys­ters are posh, and cock­les aren’t, isn’t it?

Dom, mean­while, is giv­ing one of the rooms a sea­side-themed makeover, which in­volves paint­ing it the same blue as his shirt and putting up a trip­tych of framed peb­bles. Se­ri­ously – peb­bles, glued on to a card and stuck into a frame. Like the kind of thing a five-year-old brings back from school, and you say, “That’s lovely dar­ling”, and then qui­etly dis­pose of it af­ter they have gone to bed.

Dom is re­spon­si­ble for an­other art­work, in the sea­side room: a bit of rope, in a glass. There are a cou­ple of peb­bles in there as well, maybe left over from the framed ones. String and stones, in a glass, by Dom Parker. If my five-year-old brought that home, I’d go and have a word with the school: are you hav­ing a bloody laugh?

The guests seem to quite like it, though; they give it an av­er­age of three and a half stars out of five. Oh, I see, that’s how the star rat­ings work here: six guests – So­phie, Jack,

Er­rol, Jane, Michael and Paul – just give it a rat­ing, like Tri­pad­vi­sor.

That’s a lit­tle am­a­teur, and ar­bi­trary isn’t it? But symp­to­matic of the show as a whole.

Only Jane likes the kedgeree. Steph and Dom or­gan­ise a beach party in the ho­tel bar, too – cock­tails and fancy dress. It’s the one thing they do that every­one agrees is a roar­ing suc­cess, five stars across the board. This is clearly where their real tal­ents lie - hav­ing a good time, and hav­ing a drink. Cheers!

I do try to keep up with what’s go­ing on in Made in Chelsea (E4), be­cause I think it’s im­por­tant, and they are beau­ti­ful, and blond, and rich. I’ve lapsed though, missed out al­to­gether on MIC Ibiza [makes note to catch up], where all kinds of stuff seems to have kicked off. Cheat­ing and split­ting up, mostly, so that now just about every­one is fab­u­lously sin­gle.

We’re back in south west Lon­don, but Balearic af­ter­shocks rum­ble on, feuds and jeal­ousies, as well as new ex­cite­ments. Proud­lock is ex­cited for Jamie and Alex, who are freshly show­ered and shaved, sport­ing new threads, and ready to take on what­ever the day throws at them. Girls hope­fully.

Frankie has a new puppy, to re­place Jamie. Tiff is open­ing a ve­gan restau­rant, to re­place Sam. Vic­to­ria doesn’t like ve­g­ans, or fem­i­nists or the gluten free, but some­thing called a drip and chill (in­tra­venous vi­ta­min drip ther­apy) seems to be OK.

Mimi doesn’t like ve­g­ans ei­ther, or maybe she just doesn’t like Tiff, be­cause of Sam, but they’re hav­ing a lower-case tiff. And Toff – a lower case one too of course, they all are

– is find­ing it tough know­ing whose side to take … See what I mean about im­por­tant? Pos­si­bly even a lit­tle bit in­spi­ra­tional, no?

Steph and Dom’s One Star to Five Stars: like The Ho­tel In­spec­tor

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